DU retains the Gold Pan
The roll that Denver continues to ride is the envy of the rest of the college hockey world. A 14-game unbeaten streak (11-0-3) will make that happen.
Second-ranked DU is the toast of college hockey in Colorado, too, after sweeping Colorado College in a home-and-home series this last weekend by identical 3-1 scores. Three different Denver players scored Friday in Colorado Springs before the same thing happened Saturday at Magness Arena.
The sweep ensured that Denver retained the Gold Pan, the teams’ traveling trophy. DU has now swept the Tigers in five consecutive two-game series over the past three years. This is the 12th year overall in which Denver has won the Gold Pan.
DU picked up its wins over CC without the Pioneers’ leading scorer, Henrik Borgstrom. The Denver Post reported that Borgstrom missed the series with an as yet undiagnosed illness.
Denver (11-2-3) should find itself hosting a No. 1 versus No. 2 battle later this week as current USCHO poll leader Minnesota-Duluth visits the Colorado capital. UMD (10-2-2) was idle this past weekend.
CC (3-11) hits the road later this week to face Miami (3-8-4), which currently holds the last-place spot in the NCHC standings and has yet to win a league game this season.
Hawks come through on grand stage
Ninth-ranked North Dakota, which has had an often bumpy ride through the first half of this season, had a chance to make a big statement Saturday when the Fighting Hawks faced No. 3 Boston College at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
At the end of the night, it was the Hawks saluting their fans from center ice inside the World’s Most Famous Arena following a 4-3 win over BC.
UND led 2-0 after the second period on a pair of goals in that frame from freshman Tyson Jost. That stretch made a big difference as a five-goal third period leaned BC’s way. Trevor Olson’s goal for UND – the junior forward’s first in 57 games – with 2:01 remaining stood up as the game-winner.
Hawks goaltender Cam Johnson played a big part in the win, making 28 saves and only conceding goals when BC was playing with extra attackers.
It’s fair to say UND (8-5-3) needed this win, as the Hawks had only won two of their last 10 games prior to Saturday. Playing without star forward Brock Boeser for a third consecutive game, UND did what it had to do.
The Hawks return home to prepare for two games in Grand Forks this next weekend against No. 16 Western Michigan (7-4-3). Speaking of which…
Broncos, Huskies square off in Kalamazoo
WMU’s hockey team shared the local limelight this last week as the school’s football team won the Mid-American Conference championship in Detroit and locked up a spot in the Cotton Bowl. Back home, the Broncos’ icers played two big games of their own.
An announced crowd of 1,776 was on hand Friday at Lawson Ice Arena when WMU fell 3-0 to No. 17 St. Cloud State in the teams’ series opener. Mikey Eyssimont scored the eventual game-winner 48 seconds into the game before two more SCSU goals in the final 4:04 put the result on ice.
Western secured two NCHC points on Saturday by way of winning an overtime shootout following a 5-5 tie through 65 minutes of play. Five different WMU players scored in regulation before a Wade Allison goal in the second round of the shootout helped send Broncos fans home happy.
St. Cloud can point to positives of its own from the weekend. After blanking the Broncos Friday night, SCSU went 3-for-5 on the power play Saturday, with two such goals from Jacob Benson coming 1:22 apart in the second period.
Eyssimont produced a goal and two assists Saturday to cap what for the sophomore forward was a five-point weekend.
SCSU (7-6-1) plays at home this weekend against an Omaha team (8-5-3) that has not lost once on the road this season.